Last night, Awards Season had its official debut with the 72nd Annual Golden Globe awards. From now until Oscar night, there will be intense campaigning, fabulous fashion, and an exorbitant amount of partying from Hollywoods brightest stars as they celebrate what was truly a great year. While there were no real trends or sweeps, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association made it very clear that when it comes to TV at least, women are indeed forces to be reckoned with.
With an opening that managed to make everyone laugh, cringe, and feel a deep sense of patriotism, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler hit it out of the park yet again. From Emma Stone’s “big eyes” and Amal Clooney’s resume to North Korea and the Bill Cosby impression-off, Fey and Poehler quickly solidified themselves as this century’s comedy duo to aspire to.
Keeping with the theme of the night, they enlisted the help of Margaret Cho – yet another female comedian – in a hilarious running sketch that felt very much in the vein of SNL in its prime. Classic and contemporary, simply put they nailed it. Now we just need to convince them to do it every year…
In what was probably the most difficult and shocking storyline on Downton Abbey to date, Joanne Froggatt brilliantly and truthfully navigated her character’s rape and it’s rippling aftermath. Her depiction of Anna’s emotional trauma giving way to her fierce need to protect her husband was as heartbreaking as it was captivating. As moved as I was by her performance, never did I think that HFPA would take notice when the formidable Kathy Bates and crowd favorite Uzo Aduba are in the same category. As Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Minisieries, or TV Movie encompasses all supporting characters in both comedy and drama, Froggatt’s win is a well deserved award indeed.
One of the biggest upsets of the night came when freshman Gina Rodriguez won Best Actress in a TV Comedy for the CW’s Jane the Virgin, beating out Lena Dunham, Edie Falco, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Taylor Schilling. Yes, this was CW’s first nomination and yes the show is a cultural phenomenon but I cannot say what this truly means for the Latin community better than Rodriguez herself did in her acceptance speech:
Apparently that was just the tip of the iceberg in terms of breaking ground at the Globes. What I found to be the most profound was that both series awards – Best TV Comedy or Musical and Best TV Drama – went to shows created and written by women. Transparent‘s Jill Soloway and The Affair‘s Sarah Treem spearheaded and delivered shows that beat out old favorites to claim the top TV honors of the night. It is important to note that 4 out of the 5 Comedy Series nominees this year were in fact created by women, furthering the claim that TV is much more evolved and more likely to take risks than its cinematic counterpart.
So why do the Golden Globes matter so much? The answer to that question lies in who the Hollywood Foreign Press Association actually represent. As an international body of journalists reporting on the industry from outside the United States, HFPA is a good gage of how the world sees the work that Hollywood is producing and putting out there. In other words, the Globes can tell us what is actually resonating outside the giant industry bubble. This is why their choices tend to be what some may call “erratic” or “out of touch” as they tend to be on the outside looking in. You can take that anyway you like but to me, the Golden Globes proved that while women are making great strides in TV, the film industry remains somewhat of a boys club. However, I think Treem said it best in accepting the top TV honor: “Women have been waiting in the wings for a long time. They were ready for center storyteller stage.”